Par­lia­men­tar­i­ans’ scant re­spect to their re­spon­si­bil­i­ties

Pakistan Observer - - EDITORIALS & COMMENTS -


track record of Par­lia­men­tar­i­ans show they in­stantly join hands, for­get­ting their po­lit­i­cal af­fil­i­a­tion and dif­fer­ences, when it comes to ad­vanc­ing their own in­ter­ests as they did dur­ing pas­sage of a mo­tion re­cently seek­ing man­i­fold in­crease in their salaries and perks. But there is an un­for­tu­nate im­pres­sion that they show scant re­spect to their fun­da­men­tal re­spon­si­bil­i­ties as cho­sen rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the peo­ple at the high­est fo­rum.

It is all the more se­ri­ous that this im­pres­sion has been sub­stan­ti­ated in a latest re­port of PILDAT, which says over­all per­for­mance of Na­tional Assem­bly has de­clined from 48% to 43% in the 2nd Par­lia­men­tary year. NA was worst in ac­count­abil­ity with 32% score and best at leg­isla­tive ca­pac­ity with 51% score. At­ten­dance was also dis­mal and there was quo­rum is­sue for 17 times dur­ing the year. Apart from what PILDAT has pointed out, it has also been ob­served that most of the Par­lia­men­tar­i­ans do not take in­ter­est in the busi­ness of the House and pass their time in gos­sip. Many of those who do par­tic­i­pate, the level and qual­ity of speeches left much to be de­sired. Is­sues that re­ally mat­ter for peo­ple of Pak­istan are hardly dis­cussed and pressed and the fo­cus re­mains on point scor­ing. One must ac­knowl­edge that the state of af­fairs in the up­per House has im­proved much ever since as­sump­tion of its chair­man­ship by Mian Raza Rab­bani, who makes it a point to be­gin pro­ceed­ings at the tick of the clock, go strictly by the book and com­plete items on ‘ Or­ders of the Day’. This should have sent a clear mes­sage to the lower House as well but un­for­tu­nately this has not so far hap­pened. Things can im­prove if the Prime Min­is­ter and lead­ers of dif­fer­ent po­lit­i­cal par­ties at­tend pro­ceed­ings and keep a close vigil on per­for­mance of their mem­bers. Im­prove­ment in ef­fi­ciency would not only help ad­dress is­sues con­cern­ing peo­ple but also en­hance pres­tige of Par­lia­ment.

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